A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day Three of My Two-week Half Marathon Training Program

Today was day three of my two-week half marathon training schedule (see What I Did on My Summer Vacation) -- a 5K run at race pace. I did what I call the Meadows 5K, a route I have mapped around my house that begins with a one-mile downhill, followed by rolling hills, and ending on a .75-mile uphill grind.

Evan and I get checked in for the Good Samaritan 5K in Castle Rock.
My goal today was to run at race pace, harder than I typically go when running in the morning with my dog Casey. My best time on this course is 24:19 (7:50/mile) on August 23 of this year. Today I ran it in 25:21 (8:10/mile), the exact same time I ran in the Good Samaritan 5K a week ago with my brother Evan.

Evan finished 4th out of 55 runners at the Good Samaritan 5K in Castle Rock.
Evan finished fourth with a 22:56, and I finished 9th out of 55 competitors. It was my first race since Ironman 70.3 Boise back in June and it hurt. Today wasn't nearly as painful. I have a hard time really pushing myself when I'm not in a race setting.

This kid edged me out at the finish to take 8th overall and push me to 9th -- my first top ten finish ever!
Saturday was the first day of my half marathon training. I ran six miles on the Ridgeline Trail at a nice, easy pace of 9:32/mile. Yesterday I took a 21-mile road ride, my first time out on the road since June. It felt good to be back on my Cannondale, flying down Wolfensberger Road at 45 mph! Think I'll have to try and squeeze in a few more road rides the Fall before the snow hits Colorado!

Next up: Five mile run on Wednesday.

Ride on!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I took a long summer vacation this year -- from competition. After Ironman Boise nearly killed me I decided to take the summer off and enjoy it. I just wasn't having fun training for Boise, and the event itself was just downright painful. I haven't swam in open water since I froze in Lucky Peak Reservoir. I 've only been on my road bike once since suffering through the 56-mile ride through the barren outskirts of Boise and I haven't run further than six miles since the 13.1-mile run on the Greenbelt along the Boise River.

And yet, I may be in the best shape of my life. I've stayed active, running regularly and mountain biking on the Ridgeline Open Space near my home in The Rock. And, of course, I've been eating lots of lean beef to fuel my physical activity. And I've been having fun -- and eating well -- doing it!

The Ridgeline Open Space offers 15 miles of hiking, running and biking enjoyment right outside my back door!

The Ridgeline Trail offes views of three 14ers on the Front Range: Pikes Peak (14,110), Mt. Evans (in the distance, 14,240) and Long's Peak (14,259)
Mountain biking and trail running are very different than road biking and running. Steeper climbs and descents, rocky terrain, and wildlife (mostly deer, an occasional coyote and my dog, Casey) keep it interesting. More intense exertion at shorter distances mean less time with similar results. I am at my optimal weight (210) and feel great and I am running some of my best times at altitude (sub-8s on the road and sub-9s on the trail).

So, I decided today to sign up for the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon two weeks from tomorrow. Vacation over. Kinda have that end of vacation melancholy. Now I actually have to follow a training schedule, but its only for two weeks!

Last year I came up with my own two week half marathon training program for the Go! St. Louis (1:50:34, my third best half) and Waddell and Reed Kansas City (1:46, my PR) half marathons. Now, this is not a couch to 13.1-mile training program. It begins with a good base-level of fitness. I run 2-3 times per week (at least 3 miles each run) probably averaging around 10 miles per week. I ride once or twice a week (more in the summer months), probably averaging around 50 miles per week on the road or 15 on the trail.

So, beginning with a good base level of fitness, here is my two-week half marathon training schedule for the Denver Rock and Roll Half:

Week One
Saturday (today) -- Six mile trail run (completed in 57:18 or 9:32/mile)
Sunday -- Rest
Monday -- 3-mile run (race pace)
Tuesday -- Rest
Wednesday -- 6-mile run
Thursday -- Rest
Friday -- 4.5-mile run (race pace)

Week Two
Saturday -- Rest
Sunday -- 10-mile run
Monday -- Rest
Tuesday -- 5-mile run
Wednesday -- Rest
Thursday -- 3-mile run (race pace)
Friday -- Rest

I will probably ride or run on Saturday to keep my legs loose, but easy pace for a short distance.

The race is on Sunday, October 9, in Denver. This will be my first Rock and Roll event. Should be fun. My goal is 1:57 (Sub-9s), which would be a personal record at altitude. My only other race in Denver (5,280 ft. above sea level) was my first half marathon, the Arby's Rocky Mountain Half in 2007, which I completed in 2:08:52 (9:50/mile).

Ride (and run) on!